The 2011 NHL Draft was a forgettable one for the Washington Capitals.
Washington traded away its first round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Troy Brouwer and Chicago used that pick to select Philip Danault. That transaction left Washington with just four picks, all on the second day of the draft.
Those four selections have since combined for zero NHL games. Three of those picks are no longer in the Capitals system, while one still has a chance of making the NHL.
Washington didn’t make a pick until the fourth round and used that selection on the goalie from the Manglerud Star, who became the first Norwegian goalie ever drafted by an NHL team.
Steffen Soberg never signed with Washington and never came over to North America. He has since become one of the top goalies in the Norwegian league and is a constant selection for the national team.
With an average frame at 5’11” and 180 pounds, Soberg didn’t have NHL size or quickness but has found a nice niche in Europe.
Patrick Koudys, D, RPI (ECAC), 5th round, 147th overall
NHL Games: 0
Left-handed defenseman Patrick Koudys was more of a project pick with good size (6’3″) for Washington that never panned out. After two years at RPI he spent a season in the USHL with the Muskegon Lumberjacks before finishing his NCAA career at Penn State.
After his collegiate career ended, Koudys made his pro debut this season as a member of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL. The 23-year-old was a mid-level defenseman in the ECHL and could find a long-term spot at the AA-level.
Travis Boyd, C, U.S. National Development Team (USHL), 6th round, 177th overall
NHL Games: 0
Travis Boyd has a chance to save the 2011 draft for Washington if he continues to progress and builds on his rookie season with the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
After a successful stint in Ann Arbor with the U.S. National Team Development Program, Boyd had an impressive four-year career at the University of Minnesota, including 41 points in 32 games during his senior season.
This past season as an AHL rookie, Boyd had 53 points and appeared in all 76 games for Hershey. He is a natural playmaker and could be a bottom-six NHL forward or top-line center in the AHL.
Garrett Haar, D, Fargo Force (USHL), 7th round, 207th overall
NHL Games: 0
One of the last picks in the draft, Garrett Haar struggled to find a spot after Washington picked him in 2011.
He spent two average NCAA seasons at Western Michigan before heading to the WHL and joining the Portland Winterhawks for the 2013-14 campaign. Haar then turned pro the following season and appeared in 35 ECHL games with the South Carolina Stingrays.
That would be his only season with Capitals’ ECHL affiliate as he played 44 games for the Alaska Aces this season. The 22-year-old is a reliable ECHL defenseman, but isn’t going to get many opportunities beyond that.
Hockey’s Future looks back at the 2011 NHL Draft of the Washington Capitals in the video below, including 2011 NHL Combine footage of Patrick Koudys, and draft footage of Travis Boyd.
Prospect of the Month
The most successful member of the Capitals’ 2011 draft class is the Prospect of the Month for his efforts in Hershey’s Calder Cup playoff push. Through 13 postseason games, Travis Boyd has six points (two goals, four assists), including the series-clinching goal against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the second round.
Follow Sean Shapiro on Twitter via @seanshapiro